There are 272 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and two more Manitobans have died of the novel coronavirus, officials announced Wednesday.

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There are 272 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and two more Manitobans have died of the novel coronavirus, officials announced Wednesday.

Test positivity rates were 9.2 per cent in Winnipeg, and 8.8 per cent provincewide.

The majority of the spread is still in the capital, with 182 new cases reported in the Winnipeg health region alone.

There were also 37 new cases in Prairie Mountain, 20 each in Southern Health and Interlake-Eastern, and 13 in Northern Health.

The deaths announced Wednesday include a man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s, both from Winnipeg, who was infected with the now-dominant B.1.1.7 variant (first detected in the U.K.).

The figures were announced as Manitoba expanded vaccine eligibility to all residents 45 and older, and pledged everyone 12 and up who wants a vaccine will be able to book a first-dose appointment by May 21.

All Indigenous adults 18-plus are already eligible, as are certain residents and workers in select "high-priority" neighbourhoods.

Two more Manitobans had been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 since Tuesday, according to provincial data provided Wednesday afternoon. Admission numbers fluctuate throughout a given day.

As of Wednesday, there were 182 COVID-19 patients in hospital; 47 of them in intensive care.